Merc chases lost youth
A new baby aimed at those aged under 50
THE baby Benz that went missing in 2011 is coming back with a vengeance.
The A-Class was dropped after falling sales in Australia, but an all-new A will show a new style direction, and a more youthful side, when it returns to local showrooms in 2012.
It is previewed at the Shanghai and New York motor shows next week with the promise of a racy hatchback body to replace the boxy fridgelike look of the outgoing car. And more excitement.
Mercedes-Benz Australia denies it lost faith in the A-Class, but it says the new A, and the B-Class that comes with it, will renew buyer enthusiasm.
The A-Class went into hibernation. We took it out of the catalogue because the B-Class was predominantly meeting that need,’’ said Benz spokesman David McCarthy.
The volume has encouraged us to bring both the new A and B-Class to Australia when they are released.’’
The worldwide emphasis is on the A, with the B continuing as a family-focused hatch. There will also be a compact SUV as Mercedes leverages an all-new compact-car platform for the future.
The third-generation A-Class is much lower and livelier than before, comes with a class-first anti-collision system and has an adventurous cabin with a dash inspired by an aircraft wing.
But it’s still only a concept car and the motor show machine could change before production next year.
McCarthy said the objective with the new A-Class is to get younger people to add a baby Benz to their shopping list.
Not only is this a new market for Mercedes-Benz, it will also lure people to the brand who have never considered us before,’’ he said.
He refused to be drawn on price or exact timing, or on speculation that the A and B-Class cars will have a joint arrival next year.
It will be great value. It will be sometime in 2012 for Australia,’’ he said.
Concept view: The A-Class isnowlower and livelier